Saturday, November 17, 2012

Writing Practice: Day 3

[Writer's Note:  A shorter post today.  Apologies for not updating, if anyone was paying attention to my incoherent writings and ramblings.  I've let myself get distracted too easily....]

Sleep, never bound, has a dream to wake the dead and end all rest
Science, cold and always thinking, filling worlds with its wonders
Hope, the fool, who knows everything; Wisdom has much to learn

Some things were fairly standard-- checking identity, equipment, and such.  Thieves Guild members were required to do it, to show that they were working within the spirit of the law even if not within the letter.  Sages of course were glad to carry identification, it often helped ease worries, making their work easier.  Rangers didn't have a system, but this Ranger was known to the town at least.  There were numerous Fighter guilds, although if Knight were here he would show his icon of favor from his lord as identification, something that he would sooner die than have stolen.  Mages had a system as well, because no one wanted them to go out of control anonymously, especially not the nine mages guilds... but Wizard wasn't in any of those.

When they finally found out her identity, it did nothing to ease the worries of the town guard.  "Blackheart the Indomitable?!?  That can't be right..."  Looking towards her companions, the guardsman explained:  "She died centuries ago, fighting Torus the Eternal..."  Everyone looked at her and she sighed, before reaching up to touch her throat.  Magic filled the scar over it, fueled by what little blood energy was left in her dagger, and she temporarily removed the scar to speak.  "Ah... ahem.  I also died defeating Chronus the Timelord, Calidia the Succuvore, and most recently, Ajaar the Utopian.  Many, many more before that.  I have not earned the title The Indomitable without reason... please allow us to move o--"  The magic keeping her scar from preventing her to speak ended, leaving her to cough, as blood leaks from inside in to her throat.

Sage rushed to her, instinctively trying to heal her, and Ranger and Rogue helped her sit down as she mentally cursed herself for not giving herself more time.  She could permanently heal these scars, and yet... they were memories of past deeds that should never have been done.  And her greatest failures...  Sage's magics wouldn't be enough to do anything but stop the bleeding due to the power of what caused her scars, but still, the scarred lips rose in a smile.  There is still good in this world...  "I'm not sure I believe you.  But your companions vouch for you, so I'll let you pass.  We do have... a request, however.  Yesterday, several of our guardsmen began to act erratically.  This morning, they were all gone, as were many of our townspeople.  That's why we were so suspicious.   We need you to look for them-- there's a reward in it, if you're interested..."

"Gone?"  Rogue and Ranger spoke in unison.  "Yes, just... gone.  Breakfast still in its pot, but weapons and armor gone.  It's like they were called to war by some militant god using mind control."  The two looked at eachother, and then to Wizard and Sage.  The latter spoke up:  "Did ... you see a Knight enter the village at any point?  Grey armor with silver decorations, bright red hair, and a greatsword with a sapphire in its guard..."  "We did have a knight,  actually, now that you speak of it.  He came in through the west gate, saying he was on a holy mission... but his was polished silver armor and gold decor, very ornate."  "That would be Laven the Knight, a former companion.  Perhaps he was taken with them... we'll do it without compensation."  Rogue looked dubious, but was shushed by Sage, who looked rather... determined.  "It may even be Laven's doing... if he fell..."

"WHAT?  Felicia, Laven wouldn't do something like that... take people from their homes!"  "Maybe... but how do we know we're still dealing with Laven the Knight, and not Laven the Crusader?  People change, Rowan... Not... not always for the better."  "Crusader...?  Ah shit... he might..."  Rogue looked shaken.  Despite their bickering, he had traveled with Laven for years-- before the adventuring group had really taken off.  They were practically brothers.  "Fine... I'll go look for him with you.  Maybe I can talk some sense in to him if you're right."  "IF anyone can, you can, Rowan."

The Guardsman let them talk it out, heading to finish off the paperwork needed to let them go. Adventurers... always such trouble.  And yet so many towns couldn't exist without them...


"I still can't believe you talked me in to this."  Rogue muttered, as he led the group through the streets.  He could track movement on the streets as well as Ranger could in the forest-- better in fact, if he could charm people and ask them questions.  But there was no one to ask... the place was almost dead.  Still, a person wearing full plate armor did NOT move stealthily.  And Knight-- Laven, whatever he called himself now-- was anything but unpredictable.  The path took them through the residential area, to the church in the center of the town.  "Figures that book-thumper would end up here.... wait, back up."   The double doors of the church burst open, a corpse flying through as Laven lowered his foot.  "So, you fiends come to your judgement willingly.  I will forgive you for your crimes-- aiding and abetting a blood mage with deicidal intent-- for you have been mind controlled.  But you, foul spellflinger, will suffer the same fate as this murderer here."

Wizard sighed, and took her knife to her hand again.  Healing her throat once more, she muttered "Why does this have to happen now, of all times?" before speaking up in response.  "Very well, Laven.  As has been passed down through the ages by Valor the Honorable, I will accept your duel.  But first..."  Laven lunged down at her, sword swung, as she spoke.  She appeared atop a fountain in front of the church, standing next to Love the Compassionate.  Even though it was a statue, she smiled again....  First, these three are not mind controlled.  I am merely... their friend.  Second... you are no longer a knight.  You have killed without honor.  And third..."  Laven smashed his blade through the statue to get to Wizard, who blinked away once more, this time ending up inside of the church.  "If you wish to duel, we will do so within the church of your dead god."

"Heretic!  He watches over us all, and he will guide my blade to your blackened heart!"  Laven became a blur as he launched himself in to the church, smashing through the unopened door and slashing down at her.  But at Rogue noted earlier, he was predictable, and Wizard dodged by jumping back... only to have golden energy lash out at her and send her rolling across the floor, ending up atop the altar.  "Your magic will not help you now, heathen murderer..."   "LAVEN, NO!"   Even before Sage finished her shout, Laven's blade was thrust through Wizard's chest, embedding itself deep within the marble altar and leaving her body to hang limply from it.  

Sage trembled as she saw the event.  The white glow of her staff began to take a decidedly red color... no one had ever seen her truly wrathful-- Sages learned to control their emotions, so that they could better heal their patients.  An uncontrolled Sage could never heal anyone properly... "I, Felicia the Sage, denounce you.  You are now Laven the Murderer, and I will bring you to justice or die trying."  Her staff's glow began to take the shape of a macehead at the top of the staff, and she pointed a finger at Laven, who drew the axes he took from his previous victim and, imbuing them with the same golden magic as his greatsword, used them to block the sagacious energies that attempted to imprison him.  

"You don't know anything about justice, you pathetic fool.  You side with thieves, and weaklings, and blood mages--"  He forced himself away from the energies, and launched himself at his former friend, forcing her to block his axe swings.  "-- even when you do side away from evil, you would sooner heal a fiend than punish its cruelty!"  With several overhead blows to distract her, Laven redirected one of his axes to strike at her undefended sixe... only to find himself blocked by Rogue.  "Laven... I won't let you kill her.  You may have forgotten what it's like to love someone, but I h--"  The thief's daggers shattered, leaving him to be cut deeply in to, the blow knocking him and Sage several feet over, crashing in to a statue just as an arrow embedded itself in one of Laven's hands.  

"I don't know anything about what you're fighting over, but someone doesn't just... turn on their friends like that, Laven!"  Ranger trambled in fear as she notched another arrow... but it was too late.  Her bow was cut in half by a thrown axe, which embedded itself in her gut.  "There is no need for friends, fool, when you have justice to dispense.  I will send you to meet god now... all of you."   

All four of them clutched their heads in pain, as the inhuman word was spoken.  Flowing from Wizard's corpse, a black and red mist formed in front of Laven, taking the form of a human.  "Did you not want to know my name, before you killed me, Laven the Murderer?  Or was it too much for you to bear... you who claims to speak in the name of a dead god?"  "DAEMON!  I WILL NOT SUFFER YOUR--" With a casual backhand, Knight was sent flying in to the fountain, as the surreal form knelt before Ranger.  "Do not worry, Jenna, I will not allow you to come to harm." 

"DO NOT MAKE PROMISES YOU CANNOT KEEP, DAEMON!"  The fallen knight shouted, sending the golden magic at her, lashing out wildly and wrecking the pavement.  Shielding Ranger with its body, the form turned and looked at him, eyes burning cold as it did so.  "Demon?  And yet, the blood of innocents is on your hands.  Hundreds of people, killed in a single night... what right do you have to judge?  If you wish to lash out at someone for angering your dead god, then you would be best served by lashing out at me.  If your guilty, blood-stained hands can still wield their weapons... if your tainted soul can still call upon the purity of Valor the Honorable.  If your bloodlust can ever be endorsed by Courage the Challenger.  Even Rage the Wrathful may turn away from your blackened heart, for you are not strong enough to sustain her."

Laven tried.... but he could not.  His newfound magic would not come to him... and his hands shook in... fear?  No.... remorse.  Guilt.  Self-loathing... like he had never known before.  So pathetic, so feeble... so unable to do anything... nothing but a mortal, and a stupid one at that.  As he sat there being drawn further in to his own mind, Wizard walked out, held by Sageand Rogue, who froze in their steps.  "Yes... it's time for me to sleep again... forgive me for not empowering you sooner... I did not know of the dangers your friends were in."  Wizard smiled and spread the hole that the stab had mde in her cloak open, allowing the god-thing to flow back in to her wound, which closed behind her.  "I know... I've been your vessel for thousands of years, after all.  Sleep well, Hatred the Pitiful."

Everyone stood in awe as they watched, even the town guard who had witnessed the last part of the fight.  "Oh dear... it looks like I have some more unwanted attention..."  She collapsed back in to Sage and Rogue, as Ranger moved to help her as well.  The head guard stepped forward, demanding an explanation.... but no one had one save for Wizard.  "An honorable man, tainted by the corruption of the world, tried to take justice in to his own hands.... but only lost his honor and his humanity in the process.  I do not recommend that the weak of heart look in to the catacombs below the temple... it is a bloody mess of corpses."  The guardsmen looked at eachother before rushing down to look, and to check for survivors... the head guardsman and two others keeping the injured four under arrest in the mean time.

"Wizard, you have a lot to tell us... you NEED to tell us."  Sage said, looking at her companion as if she never knew her before.  "I know... but forgive me, I hate what, and who, I am... only the desire to keep her from suffering lets me get through the day."  As rain began to fall, Rogue and Ranger were sent to be treated, while Sage held Wizard, letting her cloak keep both of them from getting ill.  "So... clichéd.  Somehow I think she's still up there... watching me.  Watching us all... Love the Compassionate knows no boundry... and she cries."

1 comment:

  1. Mn, I think my writing quality dropped for this one. I'm vacillating over whether or not to completely redo this part or to leave it and continue on anyway.